Thursday 22 December 2011

A Few Hours on Clevedon Pier

A grey December day!
Dan and I decided to spend an afternoon fishing from Clevedon Pier on Tuesday. Some good cod and whiting have been caught recently, as well as some decent conger eels and thornback rays, so we thought we would give it a go! We arrived two hours before high tide and set up two rods each. End tackle was pulley rigs and two hook flapper rigs. Bait was ragworm, lugworm and squid and we were soon making some short casts from about half way along the pier. A lot of other anglers were also trying their luck but nobody was catching much at all. Just before high water Dan had the first bite of the day and was soon unhooking a small whiting. We both hoped more fish would follow but we were to be disappointed and the next couple of hours produced nothing but a few shy bites. No need for us to peel any potato's on this occasion but we will return on another day! For information on fishing from Clevedon Pier visit

Not big enough for dinner!

Thursday 15 December 2011

Winter Fly Fishing on the Hampshire Avon

A wintry looking Hampshire Avon
On Saturday I fished the Hampshire Avon with Dave, our Drennan sales representative. He is a member of the Salisbury and District Angling Club, who control a couple of miles of fly fishing only water at West Amesbury and I was his guest for the day. After a hearty breakfast we made our way to the river, where a very wintry scene greeted us. A hard frost from the night before glistened on the fields and trees and a chilly breeze reminded us both that autumn had come and gone. The river was running very low and clear and the water was very cold, but our target species, the grayling, is well known to feed happily in such conditions, so we set up undeterred. We both opted to fish size 16 foam Klinks with Holy Grail nymphs on the point. The first fish came after an hour, from a deep run under a tree and as the morning temperature slowly increased more grayling followed. After some lunch, the day continued with further success, both of us regularly taking fish and by late afternoon, the temperature now dropping, we were ready to head for home, both happy we had enjoyed a good days sport. My biggest fish of the day was a grayling of about 1lb 8oz and I caught a total of twenty six fish. For more information on fly fishing for trout and grayling on the Hampshire Avon, visit

Biggest of the day!
A size 16 Natural Holy Grail did the trick

Thursday 8 December 2011

More Big Perch

More perch fishing for me this week. After some good fish last time, I was back on the bank in search of a bigger one! Worm and red maggot fished close to marginal cover was what I hoped would fool a big stripey and I wasn't to be disappointed. Six perch between 1lb 8oz and 2lb 8oz, plus a few smaller fish made for a brilliant day! The biggest perch coughed up a 4oz roach in the net, but this wasn't the only surprise of the day, as I even hooked a decent pike of about 8lb. The pike put up a spirited fight and after giving me the run around for over ten minutes, eventually bit through my 6lb breaking strain line. I'm not the only one who has been getting in on the perch fishing action, Toby targeted the species in a match at the weekend and had some good fish too! The Angling Times recently published an article stating "There has never been a better time to fish for big perch!" So get out there and give it a go!

Greedy stripey!

Another Great Day on the Kennet

Biggest grayling of the day.
After the recent success of catching my first grayling, I returned to Barton Court Fishery on the River Kennet. I had brought dad with me, he needed to catch his first grayling and I felt confident that this was the place to do it. We arrived to find a frost on the fields and the maze of carrier streams flowing quickly, textbook grayling conditions. Our first casts were in a small weir pool that had produced fish for me on my previous visit, but after half an hour we were both without so much as a bite. A change of swim was needed but dad tried one last cast and to our surprise the float slipped under. A lively silvery fish darted around in the clear water and as dad guided it over the net we could see that it was what we had come here for. A small but beautifully coloured grayling and dads first of the species. Well done dad! After some lunch we tried the swim where I had caught my first grayling the last time I was here. On his first cast dad hooked a much bigger fish, a very good grayling was soon in the net, the scales settled on 11oz, a cracking fish! Several more grayling followed for dad, including one of 9oz and two small brown trout. He was getting too good at it! I was still to hook a fish and so I moved to a lovely looking pool below a fast, shallow run. I caught fish straight away, small grayling, several decent roach and a lone dace came my way, before I hooked a big trout which spooked the fish and then snapped my delicate hooklength. Time to move on! Dad was now fishing in another weir pool and continuing to catch well so I left him to it and settled in to a small weir pool of my own. Two large brown trout were the result of a dozen or so casts and were to be the last fish of the day. The sun had set and as it got dark we made the journey home, both very happy with our days fishing. Visit for information on the Barton Court Fishery.

Great fun on light tackle!

Thursday 1 December 2011

Local Perch Sport

This big perch fell to float fished lobworm
Everyone knows about the large numbers of carp in our fisheries, but far fewer people realise just how good the fishing can be when targeting these venues for other species, in particular, the perch. Some real monsters lurk in some unlikely places and now that the water temperatures have dropped and the carp fishing is a little slower, it is the perfect time to try for a big stripey! I have been trying my luck on some local lakes and have been delighted with the fish I have found. Pound plus specimens are plentiful, with a 2lb fish a very real possibility, these fish are relatively easy to catch, with red maggot, worm and small lures all producing on their day. Tackle needs to be fairly strong as even a small perch will do its best to evade the net but don't over do it as these fish provide excellent sport on the right gear. Local rivers such as the Brue and Bristol Avon are also known to produce large perch so don't ignore running water. With colder weather just around the corner the perch fishing is set to get even better so I'll be out there trying to tempt an elusive 3lb fish!

First Pike of the Year, Finally!

A lean and mean, fighting machine!
Blanking at Cheddar Reservoir on Sunday meant I had some bait left over, so rather than throw it away I grabbed a couple of hours pike fishing yesterday afternoon. With only a short amount of time available to me I needed a good local venue for a decent chance of catching, so I popped down to the River Axe at Shiplate Farm. I was soon casting out the rods, 15lb breaking strain line, 30lb wire trace and size 6 treble hooks, a small mackerel on one and a lamprey section on the other. I didn't have to wait long for a few bleeps on the alarm to alert me to a drop back bite, I picked up the rod, set the hooks hard and a small but very lively jack was soon splashing on the surface. Despite it's size the pike put up an excellent scrap and provided me with a fun few minutes of sport! It was to be the only fish of the afternoon but I went home happy to have finally caught my first pike of this year. For information on Shiplate Farm Fishery visit or call Steve on 07895852162.